[Footnote 3: Date of Act, January 10, 1739.
Chelsea, as every Englishman is aware, is the name of a suburb of London, where are situated the great national hospitals of Great Briton. It was in existence as a village as early as A.D. 785, but was long since absorbed by the expanding city.]
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John Wiswall, a “young man with somewhat original objurgatory tendencies,” was not of the meaner sort of families. His grandfather, John Wiswall, then some eighty-three years old, ever took an active interest in the church and social affairs, first in Dorchester, and afterward in Boston. Mr. Savage says that he was a brother of Thomas Wiswall, a public-spirited man of Cambridge, Dorchester, and Newton; but John Wiswall was ruling elder of the First Church, Boston, made so the third month, fourth day, 1669, the day John Oxenbridge was ordained pastor. He also was one of the town’s committee to act with the selectmen, to receive the legacy of Captain Robert Keayne, in 1668. “Elder Wiswall died, August 15, 1687, aged eighty-six years.”
Elder John Wiswall left one son—John, Jr. This John, Jr., was a man of life and zeal in the community. He is mentioned as “a well-known and wealthy citizen.” Among his children, by his wife Hannah, was one John, born March 21, 1667, who became the “young man with somewhat original objurgatory tendencies,” and in the autumn of 1684 was rising seventeen years of age. John Wiswall was a Boston boy, full of the animation which has ever characterized the youth of that town. If he had been entirely of the plastic sort, and represented not one of the leading families, he never would have been made an example of to the youth of the community. An example was needed. The new government felt that stringency was demanded. If data serve us well, would say that John Wiswall, “a mariner,” died about 1700, leaving a widow, Mary, who afterward married a White. None of the Wiswall name of to-day are from this line, but the Wiswall blood is infused in the Emmons, the Fisher, the Cutler, and the Johnson families.